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History of Pro Wrestling #22 (May-July 1957)

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History of Pro Wrestling #22 (04:09:00)
Matches from May-July 1957

  • AMI SOLA vs ROGER TRIGEAUD (05/17/1957; French Catch; 00:23:21)
    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: “Cheri Bibi was a character in a series of novels written by Gaston Leroux, who also authored The Phantom of the Opera. It's the nickname of a young butcher's apprentice who is gifted with extraordinary strength. He gets framed for the murder of his boss, and later on,  in a twist of fate, has his face surgically replaced with the face of the murderer for whose crime he was convicted. Over the years, the novels were adapted into several different films. There was a film in 1954 that may, or may not have been, the inspiration for Trigeuad taking on the gimmick. French promoters from this era often drew inspiration from films and literature. Off the top of my head, there's Spartacus, Batman, the French version of James Bond, and a character from The Three Musketeers.”

  • DR. ADOLF KAISER vs INCA PERUANO (05/17/1957; French Catch; 00:08:15)

    Segunda Caida reviews of the above two matches.

  • AL HAYES & RAY HUNTER vs ROGER DELAPORTE & ROGER GUETTIER (05/24/1957; French Catch; 00:39:15)
    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: Ray Hunter was an Australian from Tasmania who began wrestling in England in the early 50s. The team of Hayes and Hunter would go on to form an important part of Paul Lincoln Promotions in the early 60s, a rebel promotion that rose to prominence after wrestlers started breaking away from Joint Promotions in the late 50s and began promoting their own shows and working on the independent circuit. Lincoln and Hunter had bought a steakhouse in Soho in '56 and turned it into a coffee shop that was considered rock 'n' roll central in the late 50s. One cool thing about Lincoln, who managed some of the early rock acts in the UK, was that he encouraged the musicians to take on stage names and gimmicks just like wrestlers. Hunter doesn't have a great reputation among old school British fans. Most of them are only familiar with his work after the merger with Joint Promotions. People who went to the Lincoln shows swear Hunter was involved in a number of memorable feuds. I thought he was okay here, but you can understand how he didn't impress in the UK given the quality of heavyweight workers at the time.”

  • MARCEL PARMENTIER vs JEAN FRYZIUK (05/24/1957; French Catch; 00:08:52)

    Segunda Caida reviews of the above two matches.

  • GILBERT LEDUC vs WARNIA DE ZARZECKI (05/30/1957; French Catch; 00:34:58)

  • ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: This was a fantastic wrestling match. I'm totally sold on the idea of Leduc being The Guy. He was in his prime here, the World Champion and Prince de la Lutte Professionnelle. He carried himself as well as anyone I've seen from the 50s and that includes Thesz and Gagne. Note the tape over the eye. That's a side of Leduc I haven't explored yet -- the sympathetic babyface being savaged by cruel and brutal men.”

  • GASTON MAUJEAN vs GUY CAVALLIER (05/30/1957; French Catch; 00:08:04)

  • LINO DI SANTO vs MICHEL ALLARY (06/07/1957; French Catch; 00:29:43)

    Segunda Caida reviews of the above three matches.

  • INCA PERUANO vs CHERI BIBI (06/14/1957; French Catch; 00:22:06)
    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: While doing my research, I discovered that Inca Peruano died last  year in Paris at the grand old age of 93. Apparently, he was born in a small village in the Andes where sport was everything, and excelled at acrobatics, boxing and wrestling and moved to Spain to learn about the world and earn a crust.”

  • JOE BENARDO vs ERIC WASBERG (06/21/1957; French Catch; 00:04:20)

    Segunda Caida reviews of the above two matches.

  • ANDRE DRAPP vs JACK LASKIN (06/21/1957; French Catch; 00:25:55)
    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: I'm starting to see past Drapp the bodybuilder and view him strictly as a wrestler. I'm glad this showed up because it's a tremendous showcase for his skills. You can see that he wasn't just influenced by Greco-Roman amateur wrestling and the European pro style but by the wrestling he picked up wrestling in the States and throughout the world. For a guy his size, he had a serious motor. I loved they way they laid this out. It's not the first time we've seen uppercuts lead to a KO victory in this French footage but it kicks ass every time. This was such an interesting time in wrestling history. Drapp could have easily gone into the movies like Steve Reeves, who made those Italian-made sword and sandal films, and in fact he was the toast of Hollywood at one point, but he was a wrestler and a culturist first and foremost. One of the things I love about French wrestling from this era is how guys like Laskin and Jack Bence can get main event bouts. It's hard to imagine a guy like Laskin getting a bout like this in North America, but in Paris he took center stage. There is actually a chapter in his book where he describes a match he had in Brussels right before this bout, although in typical wrestler fashion the facts don't support the claims. It's a good yarn, though.”

  • PAUL DEBUSNE vs AMI SOLA (06/26/1957; French Catch; 00:08:19)

  • PIERRE BERNAERT vs LAURENT DAUTHILLE (06/26/1957; French Catch; 00:22:07)
    Segunda Caida reviews of the above three matches.

    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: “Dauthille was part of a golden generation of French boxers. Names such as Marcel Cerdan, Robert Charron, Robert Villemain, Charles Humez, and Jean Wanes, some of whom also turned to pro-wrestling for a living. Dauthille, as we know, was leading Jake LaMotta on points heading into the final round of their world title fight before LaMotta staged a furious comeback and knocked Dauthille out with 13 seconds to spare. Apparently, that loss haunted him for the rest of his life. He wound up hitting the bottle and recreating the loss in circus shows, dying destitute in 1971. He made his pro-wrestling debut in 1953 against Debusne, so he had been wrestling for about four years at this point. But even though he was an important figure in the boxing world, this bout wasn't really about him. It was more of a showcase for Bernaert. Bernaert reminded me of Tully Blanchard in the sense that he was a technically gifted heel who preferred to use his technical skills in an evasive way. This was building nicely to Dauthille knocking him the fuck out but instead Bernaert did a runner and Dauthille was left looking weak. I can only assume that Dauthille didn't translate into box office otherwise you'd think this match would have been handled differently. It's interesting to see how the world of catch was so closely related to bodybuilding and boxing, however, and how pro-wrestling was one of the only ways these guys could make money after their chosen careers were over. Definitely a stark contrast between Drapp and Dauthille.”

  • JO RINALDI vs ROBERT MOINE (07/11/1957; French Catch; 00:13:44)
    Segunda Caida review of the match.

    ohtani’s jacket comments at Pro Wrestling Only: “Fun preliminary bout. Rinaldi was billed as an Italian but I'm pretty sure it's another one of those deals where he had an Italian grandfather. Moine was an interesting wrestler. He was a short man but he could clearly wrestle. Rinaldi also looked like he knew his way around the ring. Moine disappears from bills at the end of 1960 but Rinaldi wrestled throughout the 60s.”

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